Google has been displaying the maps of Moon and some regions of Mars for some time. But now they have taken a leap and have started to display the maps of some of the planets of our solar system along with many of their moons. These maps have been designed by an astronomical artist Born Jonsson using high definition images received from NASA and European Space Agency.
Forty years ago in 1977 when Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were launched into the space with the sole mission to capture the secrets of the planets and their moons, the scientists had little idea that one day people will be able to view detailed maps of other planets on Google Maps in the comfort of their homes. Even though Voyager missions sent millions of images, Google Maps incorporates images captured mostly by the spacecraft Cassini. The Cassini spacecraft was launched twenty years ago in 1997.
In order to view the planets on Google Maps, first you have to switch to the Satellite mode. You can do this by pulling down the Google Maps menu and selecting Satellite. After this all you have to do is keep zooming out by clicking on the minus icon near the lower-right corner. First a full 3D Earth will be displayed and then it will switch into Space.
You will be able to pick the planets, their moons and some dwarf-planets from the list on the left side. Again first the 3D planet or moon will be displayed, but you can click on the plus sign to zoom-in and you will be shown the map of that planet. As you can guess, the maps of other planets basically include some of the names of various regions and interesting places (interesting for the scientists).
So if you are planning to take a trip to Pluto in your spaceship, do not forget to find interesting places on Pluto using Google Maps. This may sound funny to you now, but in a few hundred years this will be a serious advice from the parents.
You can read more about exploring planets on Google Maps at Google’s own blog – https://www.blog.google/products/maps/space-out-planets-google-maps/.